How to Prep Your Trees for Winter
October 12, 2016
Each season of the year provides both opportunities and challenges for our landscapes, especially our trees. Devising a plan to take advantage of favorable circumstances means we are more prepared when challenges arise.
Wild Winters in DFW
Fall is an ideal time to evaluate the health of your irreplaceable mature trees, which are one of your property's most valuable assets. Summers in our area are often rather predictable, which is to say: long and hot, typically with periods of extreme drought.
Winters in Dallas-Ft. Worth, on the other hand, can go any number of ways. Some are mild, with just a few brief cold snaps followed by spells of pleasant weather. Some years it seems we have no real winter at all, much like this past winter. Other years we have massive ice storms, severe cold temperatures and either a surplus or lack of rain.
Because winter temperatures are often relatively high compared to northern climates, the occasional snowfall we receive tends to be wet and heavy which can be difficult for weak tree branches to withstand. Preventative pruning at this time of year, before the storms hit, means your trees are in their best possible shape to be ready for whatever our upcoming winter may bring.
Prune trees now for winter storms
Seasonal pruning of trees involves both removal of dead or diseased branches as well as careful selection of limbs that have heavy growth on the branch tips, also known as end-limb weight reduction. This type of growth is often caused by either a period of excess rainfall or sometimes from overuse of synthetic fertilizers, which promote rapid growth that is susceptible to breakage during storms and high winds. Criss-crossed, overlapping and other growth not conducive to a strong tree canopy should also be eliminated.
An experienced and certified arborist will be able to identify these weak branches that are more likely to fall and cause property damage or injury, not to mention destroying the appearance of your beautiful trees.
Along with your fall evaluation to plan for upcoming winter weather, putting a full plan into place is a good start to the long term health and safety of your trees. Along with pruning, Eco-friendly fertilization and regular tree inspections by a tree pro, such as what is included with our SEASONS program, will further strengthen your trees so they’ll be able to better withstand whatever our temperamental Texas seasons throw at them.
A yearly tree check by a pro can often alert you of unique solutions to keeping trees healthy such as cabling and bracing of co-dominant trunks that can be a dangerous hazard during a winter storm.